Multiple Myeloma Division


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WSJ Article: Dr. Siegel, Chief of Multiple Myeloma Discusses New Breakthrough Treatments for Patients

The Multiple Myeloma Division at the John Theurer Cancer Center is one of only a few treatment centers in the United States to offer specialized expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that strikes the blood system. The team brings together multiple myeloma experts in hematology/medical oncology, immunology, stem cell transplantation, infectious diseases, pathology, radiation oncology, orthopedics, and nursing. This specialized approach to treating multiple myeloma provides patients with the exact type of services they need to battle the disease and its physical, emotional, and social side effects.

The division is one of the most active multiple myeloma clinical trial sites in the nation. The team is led by internationally-recognized experts David Siegel, M.D., Ph.D., chief, multiple myeloma and David Vesole, M.D., Ph.D., co-chief and director of research. Under their leadership, the John Theurer Cancer Center has played a leading role in myeloma research that has resulted in some of the most promising treatments for myeloma patients today, including Velcade (Bortezomib), Revlimid (Lenalidomide) and Carfilzomib.

Sequencing the Genome for Multiple Myeloma

Using new genome sequencing technologies, researchers from the John Theurer Cancer Center joined colleagues from 20 major North American research institutions to publish the first complete genomic portrait of multiple myeloma in Nature. Findings from the study point to new directions for potential myeloma therapies, and begin to unlock the mysteries of what causes this devastating malignancy.

Building on these promising results, the John Theurer Cancer Center was one of the first clinical trial sites to enroll patients in a follow-up study designed to uncover the molecular segments and variations of multiple myeloma. This study will be the centerpiece of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s (MMRF) Personalized Medicine Initiative, CoMMpass, aimed to accelerate translational research into therapeutic breakthroughs for patients.

Working Towards a Cure with the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium

John Theurer Cancer Center is a member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) - a unique research model that was developed to accelerate the development of novel, cutting-edge treatments for patients afflicted by multiple myeloma by catalyzing, promoting, and facilitating collaborative research between industry and academia. 

Sixteen world-renowned academic institutions comprise the MMRC, working together on collaborative research to develop novel and combination treatments for patients with multiple myeloma.  At the core of this unique model is the
MMRC Tissue Bank, the only resource of its kind that integrates myeloma tissue samples with corresponding genomic and clinical data to enable researchers to rapidly advance research efforts.  Until recently, a scarcity of high-quality myeloma tissue has posed one of the greatest challenges in advancing myeloma research and drug development.  Now, with the successful establishment of the MMRC Tissue Bank, researchers for the first time have access to crticial mass of high-quality tissue needed to rapidly validate novel and combination therapies for myeloma. 

The MMRC is highly focused on spearheading Phase I and II clinical trials with associated correlative science studies and also conducts pre-clinical validation studies to identify and prioritize the most promising novel compounds and combination therapies, and conducts genomiocs studies to develop a greater understanding of the biology of multiple myeloma.

The Multiple Myeloma Division Team

Division Chief

David S. Siegel, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Division of Multiple Myeloma, is one of the nation's foremost authorities on multiple myeloma. Most recently, Dr. Siegel served the lead investigator of the pivotal multi-center, phase IIb study involving 30 cancer centers in North America that led to the FDA's fast-track approval of Kyprolis (carfilzomib) for relapsed multiple myeloma patients. Read full bio.

Co-Division Chief and Director of Research

Nationally recognized multiple myeloma expert David Vesole, M.D., Ph.D. joined John Theurer Cancer Center Co-Division Chief and Director of Research for the multiple myeloma division in September 2009. Dr. Vesole is an expert in stem cell transplant therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma. He  previously served as director of the bone marrow transplant program at Loyola University Chicago - Stritch School of Medicine. He has authored more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and recently served as co-chair of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Myeloma Committee and co-chair of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research Plasma Cell Disorder Committee. Read full bio.

Hematologist/Oncologist, Multiple Myeloma 

Joshua Richter, M.D., is an Attending in the Multiple Myeloma division at the John Theurer
Cancer Center. Dr. Richter joined in the John Theurer Cancer Center in July 2011, allowing the division to further expand its internationally-recognized myeloma clinical and research practice.

Dr. Richter brings a wealth of expertise to our team having worked at some of the world’s most prestigious cancer centers. Dr. Richter completed his hematology/oncology fellowship at Yale Cancer Center, where he had the opportunity to work with one of the nation’s leading multiple myeloma specialists Madhav Dhodapkar, M.D., Chief, Section of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine; Director of Hematologic Malignancies. During his residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital - New York Medical College, Dr. Richter studied multiple myeloma under Dr. Vesole and Sundar Jagannath, M.D., Chief, Multiple Myeloma, Bone Marrow and Blood Stem Cell Transplantation. Dr. Richter has been published in numerous oncology journals, including Clinical of Immunology and Leukemia Lymphoma. Read full bio.

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